How to Clean a Coffee Maker

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Coffee makers make our mornings easier and more energetic as they automatically brew a fresh pot of coffee. However, those bits of dried coffee, mineral deposits, and even unsanitary mold growth can be off-putting, and brew coffee that is mucky, gross, and unfit for consumption. Learn how you can deep clean your coffee maker in this article:

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What You'll Need

You'll only need a couple of household staples to clean your coffee maker. Acidic solutions, like vinegar and lemons, are perfect for clearing out the hard water stains in your coffee maker as they dissolve mineral deposits, and are food-safe too! 

  • White vinegar or Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Plain water
  • Bristle brush
  • Clean cloth

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How to Clean Coffee Maker: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Run a Hot Water Cycle

First, run a hot water cycle. Fill the water reservoir with regular water, and let the coffee maker run as normal. Doing so will remove any dried bits and pieces, and loosen up any grime to prepare your coffee maker for the next step.

Step 2: Place Vinegar and Baking Soda in the Water Reservoir

Add 4 cups of vinegar and water into the water chamber, and add half a cup of baking soda. Distilled white vinegar will loosen hard water minerals, kill mold, and deodorize the internal components of your coffee maker, while baking soda will provide an abrasive, scrubbing action without damaging or scratching the parts.

Alternatively, you can use lemon juice in place of vinegar, but you will need 4 cups of juice to clean a coffee maker. Lemon juice will similarly dissolve any mineral buildup, and deodorize the machine as well.

Step 3: Place a Paper Filter in the Filter Basket

Place a paper filter in the basket to catch any large pieces of debris and coffee residue. Skip this step if you have a Keurig coffee maker, or a similar machine that uses pods instead of coffee grounds. For these machines, omit adding any filter or pod in the basket compartment.

Step 4: Run a Brewing Cycle

Let the vinegar brew in one cycle as if you're brewing coffee, allowing the machine to run the acidic mixture through its valves. The vinegar brew should clean the coffee machine inside out to clear the muck stuck in its piping and tubing. For coffee pod machines, you may need to set the machine to an endless cycle, or run multiple cycles until the water chamber is empty.

Step 5: Run a Rinse Cycle with Plain Water

Dump the vinegar mixture out of the coffee pot. Run one or two rinse cycles with fresh water, preferably soft water, to clear out any remaining vinegar scent, lemon, or soda particles. You may need to run more than one rinse cycle to completely remove the residue from your coffee maker. The final rinse should run clear water, without any smells or odor.

Step 6: Clean the Coffee Pot and Removable Parts

Dump out the contents of the coffee pot from the rinse cycle, and carefully clean it with soapy water under a lukewarm tap. Avoid placing cold water directly into a hot pot, as the glass may shatter from the shock of changing temperatures. Clean the coffee pot as you normally would, making sure to scrub in the nooks and crannies.

Step 7: Brush the Valves

Take a bristle brush dipped in hot water, and brush the valves where the brewed coffee funnels through. Doing so will remove any grime left behind, as well as dirt in nooks that the cleaning cycle could not reach. Do not use any soapy water to clean a coffee maker as the soap residue may linger the next time you brew a pot of coffee!

Step 8: Wipe the Coffee Maker Dry

A moist environment is what causes mold to grow inside your coffee machine. Wipe the coffee maker dry as much as possible, and let the water reservoir lid stay open to air dry the chamber. Make sure you clean and dry your coffee maker between uses to avoid growing mold and dirt in its valves!

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What to Avoid When Cleaning a Coffee Maker

Cleaning a coffee maker is relatively simple: add vinegar and water into the reservoir, and run the machine to complete a cycle. However, there are a few things to avoid when cleaning a coffee maker, namely:

  • Do not add soapy water into the water reservoir as the soap can leave residual scum or smell that may be difficult to remove even with multiple rinse cycles.
  • Use soda instead of salt when cleaning your coffee maker as the latter dissolves easily in hot water, negating any abrasive effects.
  • Do not use abrasive sponges in cleaning the pot as it may leave scratches in the glass.
  • Do not leave wet coffee grounds in the basket after a brew, as this will start to grow mold, which will make it difficult to clean a coffee maker later on.
  • Do not leave the coffee maker brewing without water in the reservoir as it can damage your machine.
  • Do not use chemical cleaners to clean a coffee maker as they may not be food safe. When in doubt, use only pantry staples like vinegar and lemons, or a cleaning solution formulated to clean a coffee maker.

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Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Having trouble keeping your kitchen appliances clean? While you can clean your coffee maker weekly, the rest of your kitchen might be in a messy state. Cleaning your entire kitchen from top to bottom is the key to keeping your appliances clean as well. At Luce Home, we understand not everyone has the time or energy to clean, so we tackle the chores for you.

Choose Luce, and give us a call to schedule a deep home cleaning service today!

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